Showing posts with label BJS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BJS. Show all posts

Saturday, October 23, 2010

James Street, we meet again...

Today's starting point. No cow costumes or elite runners this morning
Yesterday's run (Central Park). 4.5 miles
Today's run (street): 6.35 miles

I've had a lot of energy this week to channel toward running and I'm happy with the results. Yesterday I ran with a friend in Central Park, covering the lower and upper loops plus one circuit around the reservoir. The weather was optimal, high 40's, no humidity and no direct sunlight.  We felt the cold as we headed up to the park -- I always say, "You should dress for your third mile, not you first." Soon we were into the run and I was surprised at how effortless it felt to attack that first hill, given that we were moving at an 8:45 pace over the first mile. Unlike recent excursions on these paths, the focus was fully on speed and it took little time to reach the steps leading to the trail around the reservoir. We were quickly passed by a woman who must have been pacing in the 6-7 minute range. So much for feeling fast. It didn't matter in the least, we continued our way back after covering 4.5 miles and averaging just a tick over 9 minutes a mile.

This morning I met BJS (Brian) in Northport where we reran the Great Cow Harbor 10K course. Neither of us were happy with our performance on race day and I figured the cooler temperatures would result in an improvement in my time. I didn't get dramatic improvement I wanted but I did do slightly better today than I did on race day. We began on Laurel Ave., close to the starting line of the race. I felt far better than in September when I raced this course and when we hit Scudder I was concerned about going out too hard before the rough stuff both on Woodbine and James St. Once you pass by Main Street you need to prepare for about a mile of misery as Woodbine is hilly through its length and James Street is a monster. Getting up Widow Hill wasn't pleasant and I think my saving grace was knowing I'd scaled it successfully a couple of times before. By the time we reached the top we were hurting but we also knew we had almost two miles of recovery road ahead before the lengthy Waterside Ave. incline.

In retrospect it may have been better to charge down hills whenever possible to save precious seconds but I'd chosen to conserve and Brian was gracious enough to stay at my pace. I suspect he was willing to push the speed more on downhills but we stayed together. We ran on sidewalks as much as we could and that was tricky in spots due to the surface unevenness and angle. Except for some moments on James Street I never felt overtaxed and when we reached "Pumpernickel Hill" I was pleased to know it was the last hill to breech. We didn't fly all the way down Main Street but we steadily picked up speed as we came closer to our finish.  Brian put some distance ahead of me in the last quarter mile and we finished after running a little over an hour. A careful mapping of our run revealed that we actually covered 6.35 miles, so technically I ran the Cow Harbor length in 59:18. Not great by any measure but on the better side of an hour.

As we walked from our finishing spot back to the waterfront area we passed Woodbine and I asked Brian if he wanted to run James Street again. He was ready to do it but I was only joking. Once was more than enough, thank you. I think Brian is going to do the run again tomorrow with Bailey, his Lab. I wonder what she'll think of Widow Hill.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stillwell run with BJS and Bailey

BJS and Bailey. No pets allowed, good thing dogs can't read

Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 5.1 miles

This hasn't been a long mileage weekend but I've had a couple of really nice runs. This morning I met BJS at Stillwell Woods for some trail running and he brought along his usual running partner, Bailey, a black Lab. Technically, you aren't allowed to bring dogs into Stillwell but many people do. To their credit, most people who run their dogs there have trained them well. Over the last couple of years I have had only one problem with an untethered dog at Stillwell. My daughter was walking with me and a few others when a big dog jumped up on her and almost knocked her down. The dog was running with a mountain biker who had not trained this dog well. Besides that, I've run by dozens of untethered dogs that kept close to their owner's side and didn't act threatening in the least.

Bailey is an energetic, gentle dog but BJS decided to keep her on a leash when we ran because he didn't know how she'd do with the other dogs. We made our way into the woods and followed my usual route. About a mile in I decided to lead us east through more challenging trails. BJS and Bailey had no trouble with the conditions that varied between packed dirt, loose rocks and sand. We ended up at the far east end where the trail terminates at a public road. The trails that took us there were a little rough and we needed to retrace them west. One path we followed was as steep as Widow Hill in Northport, but thankfully not as long. I didn't get lost, or I should say, as lost as I usually do. I managed to get us over to the southern trails that eventually lead back to the main path near the trail head. We finished our run with one circuit around the big field and headed to the athletic fields after covering 5.1 miles in about 50 minutes.

I wore my ASICS 1130's instead of trail shoes and they did well on the multiple surfaces at Stillwell. Unfortunately, either my insole or sock was bunching in a way that dug into the bottom of my right foot. It wasn't too painful but it did make me concerned that I was putting too much sharp pressure on my plantar tendon. BJS would have been happy running longer than the five miles we covered but I started to feel concerned that I could be enabling a problem if I continued. I think that was a good decision because my foot feels fine now. It was an enjoyable run that went by quickly, so often the case when you are running with good company.  I think BJS and Bailey both liked the Stillwell experience and I'm sure we'll run there again. We talked about running in Sunken Meadow State Park where many high school XC teams train. I've heard that's a challenging course. Sounds good to me provided that I wear the right shoes.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Practice makes perfect on the Dirty Sock trail

BJS gives a thumb's up to today's run

Today's run (Belmont Lake Park trails): 6.36 miles at 9:25

It's been almost a year since I've run the trail at Belmont Lake, home of the Babylon Village Classic Dirty Sock 10K Run. With the exception of the last 1.2 miles of last year's 10K race I've enjoyed running this course more than most. It's an out-and-back run that totals 6.2 miles when you begin at the starting line along the main trail. We started our run while still outside the trail head so our distance was longer. Accompanying me this morning was BJS, an Emerging Runner friend who had also run the Dirty Sock race last year. BJS often runs with his dog but we were on our own today. We hit the trail with temperatures in the low 70's and (thankfully) low humidity. The favorable temperature and the canopy of the woods combined to make the running conditions near perfect.

BJS and I ran at a companionable pace that allowed us to converse easily. Along the way we encountered numerous others walking with dogs, biking and running.  I was surprised when my Garmin chirped to announce that our first mile had passed. It seemed like we'd only just started. I felt good and the company was great and I looked forward to the next 5. We were both amused when two strapping young runners overtook us and politely alerted us they were passing on the left. We joked for them to slow down. I'm sure they thought we were slowpokes but I stand behind our performance today. My barometer for gauging my stamina on this course is how fatigued I feel when I'm circling the northern lake. I was happy that I felt almost as fresh at that point as I did when we started. On the way back the trail is slightly more uphill, not that you would notice except on one or two stretches. We both started strong and finished strong, ending our run 59 minutes and 52 seconds after we'd begun.

We headed for shade and cooled down for a few minutes before we headed out to start our respective Saturday activities. BJS is thinking about running the trail again with his dog before the race on the 22nd. I don't know if I can get back out there before the race but it would be fun to join them. It was a great way to start the weekend and running with a person as interesting as BJS made a long run go very quickly this morning.

blogger templates | Webtalks